OTL Despite having many of the best strategists and tactiticians in German history and having seen them in action most successfully in France, Hitler did not use Manstein, Kleist, Guderian, Rommel, etc, to plan Barbarossa. Instead he used the burocrat Von Paulus and himself to plan the most important offensive of the war. Accordingly, the incompetent planners ignored many of the concepts of Blitzkrieg: Instead of attacking with overwhelming force and with heavy armor, cannon, truck and plane concentration over a narrow front, where the enemy is weaker and least expects an attack (in this case along the Baltic and Black Sea coasts, where a flank of the thrust is covered by the sea and supplies by sea are much easier than though RR and road in partisan infested areas), Barbarossa spread the few German planes, tanks, cannon, trucks, etc, available thinly along a huge front and attacked the strongest fortified areas: Kiev, Smolensk, Sevastopol, etc, Instead of the tanks advancing rapidly and converging on Moscow, Hitler changed the plan, so that tanks, which were posied to take Moscow from Smolensk in good weather were diverted long distances either to Kiev (Guderian) or to Leningrad (Hoth). The waste of good weather and invaluable Panzer fighting time, the tanks lost fighting far from Moscow and the wear caused by the long detours was catastrophic. Instead of using Romanian troops wisely to support a German thust along the Black Sea coast, Hitler sent Kleist first to Kiev, then to Nikolaev (all the way to the Black Sea, then back to Kiev, while the Romanians sustained heavy casualties & wasted 2 invaluable months of good weather just to take Odessa. Most incredibly, despite heavy German tank losses (Kleist lost 200 of his 800 tanks in the 1st week, during a colossal battle in whihc his force, which was much weaker than Guderian's or Hoth's, faced more T-34 & KV-1 than nay other force), Hitler ordered that all new tanks & spared produced from july remain in Germany until the end of Barbarossa. Therefore, of the 1890 German tanks produced between July 1 & Dec 31, 1941, only about 1/3 reached the eastern front and only after the good weather had passed. Hundreds of tanks were disabled or cannibalized for lack of spares after Hitler's long detours. (see Tank warfare in the eastern front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt by Robert Forczyk page 112). Proper planning: Hitler puts Manstein and Guderian in charge of planning Barbarossa. They immediately identify the fact that they can perfom the largest encirclement in history if almost all the planes, armor & trucks are concentrated in two swaths 1) along the Baltic Sea and Finnish border and 2) along the Black Sea, which rapidly capture Leningrad and Murmansk and Odessa & Kharkov respectively and then converge in Moscow. The heavy plane concentration allows rapid destruction of warships, planes & armor in tehse areas, enabling German supplies to arrive in Leningrad, Nikolaev, etc, enabling the advance on Moscow. The bulk of the axis infantry in the west will defend the long USSR border with Romania & Germany. The rapid capture of Kharkov & Leningrad will deprive the USSR of tanks produced in these cities. The capture of Murmansk will deprive the USSR from its only winter port. Finally, the fall of Moscow and teh closing of the huge pocket prevents tanks from Tamkograd, Stalingrad, etc, steel from Magnitograd, etc, troops, tanks from the east, etc, from reaching the bulk of the red army & it prevents evacuation of the industry in the Ukraine to the Urals. The short time it will take to attack Moscow denies the enemy time to prepare defenses & redeploy forces. Moscow is the trasnportation and communications center of the USSR, so its loss or even surrounding it will paralyze the red army. The red army will have to attack far from its fortified areas and with its lousy logistics and tactics and under German control of the air, so it will suffer extremely heavy losses. By the time the roads become a sea of mud, the red army will be encircled, deprived of supplies & reinforcements, most of the Soviet trains & trucks in the pocket will have been destroyed & Germany will be in excellent position to defend the enciclement swath from the red army advancing through mud. Moreover, the medium and heavy tank factories captured in Leningrad and Kharkov may be already in production, using steel, etc, transported by sea.